Unless you're getting into all grain brewing and doing things like "abrew in a bag triple decoction with a step infusion and a mashout" then one recipe is no more complicated that any other, especially if you are doing any extract with steeping grains recipe. Your grain bill might be different for different recipes, but what you with them (the process) will be the same, which is something akin to "steep grains for x minutes, in y gallons of water, remove grains bring to boil, add extract and hops as directed, cool, transfer to ferment, pitch yeast and rdwhahb."
So whether you are making a porter, stout, IPA, hefeweizen of whatever whatever your beer is, it's not gonna matter, my suggestion is pick a recipe or kit of a beer YOU want to drink..you know what you like commercially, so brew something like that. And stick to that recipe.
If you want a strong beer, don't choose a normal gravity beer and decide that since you read about boosting gravity by adding more sugars to just add more sugar, choose a beet of the grav you want, just like if you wand a peach beer, don't choose a non fruit beer recipe and try to "figure out" how to add the fruit...get a kit or recipe that has everything you need in the right quantities you need. Recipes are about a BALANCE between flavors, bitterness, aromas, what have you, and until you get a few batches under your belt, and learn the fundamentals, stick with the already proven and balanced recipes. That way you don't have the extra step of trying to figure out what went wrong if the beer doesn't taste good.....if the recipe or kit already tastes good (and they would have gone through tastes tests and ALREADY before you got to them- you know they are already good, if not award winning beers, if you went with a kit or book recipe, they have been vetted) if there is something not right, you will have an easier time trying to figure out what went wrong in terms of your brewing PROCESS, not because you went off the ranch and on top of trying to actually learn to brew, you also through a bunch of crap into the equation.
But realize if you make a big beer like a barleywine or something as your first couple batches you'll will be waiting 6 or more months, even a year or more before it is done. It's better to stick to average grav beers which will be done in 8 weeks or so, rather than making something that needs to mellow for months and months before it becomes carbonated let alone drinkable.
Start with something reasonable with a gravity 1.070 or below, and save your big beers til you actually have a pipeline of drinkable beers going. A lot of new brewers are excited and think they want to brew that imperial coffee bourbon double stout with a gravity of 1.090, and are pissed off when they open a bottle after a couple weeks and it tastes like crap and is flat, or tastes like rocket fuel, and then we tell them they need to wait.
I have a Barleywine with a 1.150 OG and 150 Ibu's that I am aging for 5 years...imagine if I made that as my first batch, how dissapointed I would be if I realized it will take 5 years to become wonderful???? But I have a pipleline, I have plenty of beer going, and will have.
We're not making koolaid here, this is a game of patience. Especially for those big special beers. Heck I plan a minimum of 8 weeks from grain to glass for my NORMAL strength beers.
Make an Ipa, or a Pale ale, or even a stout or porter (but realize THOSE may even take 3 months) not something that may not see drinkability til nearly a year from now.
But really pick your favorite current style and get yourself a kit or a recipe and enjoy your new obsession.
Wow, amazing advice from all, especially revvi. I am glad I asked because I thought I would have to conquer a light beer before I could even step up to an IPA. I am not a fan of light beers though. I guess it makes sense though ( brew what you would drink). I would love to make an average ipa, like a 60 minute dogfish. I just live in a small town home, so now I just have to find the room to do so because I have researched some home brewing nightmares! ( explosions and etc....) you guys sound very helpful and I hope your there step by step for me! Lol just kidding. I will live and learn through the brew process! I think I am an IPA snob. Hahahaaha
I remember when I first started brewing and one of the kits was labeled "advanced."
After I got done with the usual process, boiling, hops, chilling, etc.....then added more hops into a secondary fermenter (adding directly into the primary would have worked as well); I paused and thought.........
Dry hopping is really that advanced?
You can make a dry-hopped IPA a lot easier than you can make a double-decoction pilsner with a diactetyl rest and a 4-month lager
Brew what you want, and what you will drink. I picked an American Wheat kit from NB, and it is fermenting as we speak. There is nothing like watching the fermentation action of a beer that YOU put together!
Why brew something that you don't like as much? Extract is all pretty easy for the most part, so take your time, sanitize everything your wort will touch after it cools, and have fun! I make a Chili recipe that has more steps than this batch of beer did...And it does require a beer!